Some Beans & An Octopus
Sonig56 - 2006
Some Beans & an Octopus is joyful, rampant surge through the whole history and geography of popular music, taking in the afore-mentioned ragtime as well as R&B, flamenco (Step Under the Bulbshine), ska (Words), Turkish wedding music (This One) and so much more. But this isn\'t just a genre-checking sample collage (there are in fact no samples used on this album) – this music actually seems to have all these styles wound into its very DNA, twisted together to create something entirely new. This, surely, is 21st century world music: a mash-up of ideas and styles, rather than anything as primitive as audio files. Vert is in fact Adam Butler, a migrant Englishman who landed 4 years ago in Cologne, Germany. Up until May 2004, he had a successful career as a well-respected electronic producer, who as well as producing 4 albums, had toured across Europe, Japan and the US. But one night his studio was burgled, and all equipment, data and backups stolen. Butler took this total reset as an opportunity to renew his work, to expand it into new directions, and almost immediately began work on the album that you now have before you. The main – and most obvious – change is the use of vocals. These are not tracks, they are songs, and every song on Some Beans & an Octopus features vocals from Adam. And he sings like he\'s been doing it his whole life. The lyrics (let\'s talk about the lyrics for a moment... poetic, playful, sometimes surreal stories of love and theft...) pull together the structures of the music, compacting it into supple, nonchalant pop. The second clear change is the inclusion of other musicians. Bassist Fedor Ruškuc appears on every song, and also appearing in supporting roles are turntablist DJ Elephant Power (also on Sonig), saxophonist Tom Chant (plays with The Cinematic Orchestra and The Eddie Prévost Trio), rapper Noah23 (on First Rec), guitarist Noël Akchoté (has played with Chet Baker, David Grubbs and many more), all-rounder Andi Toma (Mouse on Mars), and many others.